In 2018, the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), paving the way for states to start legalizing sports betting. One of the states that was perfectly poised to do this was New York. The state passed anticipatory legislation back in 2013, which would allow for the opening of four commercial casinos and sportsbooks once federal restrictions were removed. That’s exactly what happened, and one of these New York sportsbooks is located at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort in Nichols, New York.
To make room for the Tioga Downs sportsbook, the venue requested in early 2019 that the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) reduce the minimum number of slot machines that the casino had to have on its premises. The commission agreed to a 5% reduction, taking the number of slots from 944 to 892. The space freed up has been used to expand the original Tioga sports betting lounge to meet the huge demand for sports wagering in the area.
Of course, although the action is hopping at Tioga Downs, the real movers and shakers will be wagering during NFL season. Fortunately for the venue (but perhaps not so fortunately for New Yorkers who can’t make it to the casino on a regular basis), sports wagering in NY is restricted to on-site action. New York has not yet passed any laws allowing for mobile betting, and these don’t seem to be on the horizon. As such, you cannot simply bet online with the Tioga Downs sportsbook. If you want to wager on the Yanks or the G-Men or any other cub, you’ll have to do it in person.
(As a side note, it is 100% legal to wager on sports in NY over the Internet if you use a legitimate, regulated, offshore sportsbook. These sites have been taking New Yorkers’ bets for ages, and they operate in full compliance with all local and international laws. Until New York launches its own Internet-based sportsbook services, you can only enjoy remote, portable betting by using books like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and others.)
Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Nichols?
To explain how legal sports betting is has moved forward in New York, we’re going to have to take a look back. In 2013, lawmakers approved a referendum to the state code to allow four commercial casinos to open in the state. Within this referendum, lawmakers gave these four commercial casinos the ability to open sportsbooks, should two things happen. First, all federal restrictions had to be removed. Second, the New York State Gaming Commission had to create a set of regulations for the sportsbooks to abide by. The referendum was signed into law, and then essentially sat there for five years collecting dust until PASPA was overturned in 2018 by the US Supreme Court.
When this happened, Nichols sportsbooks officially became legal. The reason it couldn’t open for a whole year after that is because the NYSGC did not create any regulations for sports betting in New York until relatively recently. The New York Gaming Economic Development Act legalized sports betting, but the law was extremely limited in what it could offer. Under this law, New York sports betting could only take place in person, and could only be operated out of a commercial casino. Racetracks, Racinos, and Native American gaming facilities were left out. There would also be no mobile or online sports betting allowed, either.
So New York lawmakers decided to put regulations on the backburner while they attempted to pass an expanded sports betting law. Unfortunately, they didn’t get anything passed in the latter half of 2018, and instead of being stuck with limited sports betting, the Commission simply opted to withhold sports betting in New York altogether. Finally, in the first quarter of 2019, everything was finally ironed out, the NYSGC put out its regulatory guidelines, applications were accepted, and sports wagering was finally on the table, front and center! Just remember: For the foreseeable future, sports wagering in NY will be limited to in-person wagering at the sportsbooks in Nichols and the three other cities where upstate NY casinos operate.
How Old Do I Have To Be To Bet At Nichols Sportsbooks?
When you’re betting at the Nichols sportsbook at Tioga Downs, you’re going to have to be at least 21 before you can get in on the action. So think of it this way – if you’re not old enough to go to the sports bar at the Nichols casino, you’re not old enough to bet at the sportsbook there, either.
Some NY residents might be tempted to use the offshore sportsbooks available to them at just 18 years of age, which is how old these books require their users to be in order to sign up and start wagering. However, there is a rider in these books’ terms of service that mandates that prospective members defer to their own states’ legal sports wagering ages. If NY didn’t have an official legal age of 21 in order to bet on sports, you could sign up and wager at just 18. However, since NY law is specific on this, you will need to adhere to your state’s mandates.
Best Sportsbooks in Nichols, NY
When it comes to land-based sportsbooks in Nichols, NY, your best option is pretty clear – the Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Of course, this is the only land-based sportsbook available in Nichols for sports betting in New York, but that’s beside the point. Even if there were a bunch of competing books in the area, we believe that the Tioga Downs sportsbook would be the best Nichols’ sportsbook. That’s because the venue has the space and the traffic to make their wagering and viewing experiences the best in the region.
Tioga Downs is a truly modern, world-class operation that strives to provide its patrons with the ultimate gambling experience, and that dedication to quality and service is exuded by their state-of-the-art sportsbook and wagering/viewing lounge. The only way that the Tioga Downs book won’t scratch your sports betting itch is if you simply can’t get to the venue in time to wager. In that case, you’re going to have to go with an offshore book for the time being.
Review Of The Nichols Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort
- Tioga Downs Casino Resort
- Address:2384 W. River Road, Nichols, New York 13812
- Phone: 1-888-946-8464
At the Tioga Downs sportsbook, you’ll be able to bet on every professional event taking place in New York, the rest of the nation, and throughout the entire world. As with the other full-service sports betting venues in upstate New York, league support includes the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, golf, tennis, soccer, rugby, cricket, UFC/MMA, boxing, e-sports, horse racing betting, auto racing, and more. On the occasions when you are able to visit the best sportsbook in Nichols, you definitely need to come prepared to see thousands of options on the odds boards.
Tioga Downs isn’t just for sports bettors, even though that’s the aspect that’s making headlines of late. In addition to sports wagering opportunities, you’ll find live pari-mutuel wagering and simulcast wagering on the ponies year-round. You’ll also have access to over 30 live table games with blackjack, craps, roulette, and more. And, of course, the slots abound!
With a dozen poker tables on-site, Tioga Downs offers both limit and no limit poker seven days a week. They’ve got five and seven card stud, too – both high and low games. Limit Omaha, pot limit poker, high/low Omaha, and high-only Omaha are all also available. Basically, if you want poker, you’ll find it in spades (and hearts, clubs, and diamonds!) at Tioga Downs.
On top of everything they have for you to play, Tioga Downs Casino also has some incredible perks available, like weekly jackpot bonuses. Sign up for a gas card and earn up to $40 a week in free gas credits. Two lucky winners will earn a $250 free-play every Friday from 4 pm to 10 pm. And of course, there are huge jackpot bonuses to win, like a free car or up to $30,000 in cash prize drawings. Any way you play it, this casino is amazing. And with one of NY’s only sports betting lounges, you should expect the same kinds of prizes and perks as the different sporting seasons roll around (particularly leading up to the NFL season). Even if other legal sports wagering venues come to the area, Tioga Downs will always be Nichols’ best sportsbook!
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